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UnisaRxiv – a cutting-edge preprint server for the University of South Africa Press, powered by ScienceOpen

Over the last few years, preprint servers have become increasingly attractive to publishers as strides have been made in improving this technology, such as in the assigning of digital object identifiers that make preprints a better, more trackable form of scientific communication. Moreover, with the COVID-19 pandemic sweeping the globe, the scientific community has seen preprints play a major role in enabling the swift relaying of research results. Consequently, there is a lot of excitement over the future of preprints and how they could transform the scientific publishing landscape. Unisa Press is therefore delighted to announce a new cooperation with ScienceOpen, with whom it has created a new preprint server,UnisaRxiv. UnisaRxiv will be a forum to facilitate open peer review of preprint manuscripts and allow for rapid dissemination of the latest findings on diverse topics.

ScienceOpen offers technology at the cutting edge of scholarly publishing, providing solutions for versioning, open peer review, data linking, open citations and more.

As a preprint repository with open peer review, Unisa Press hopes that UnisaRxiv will help to alleviate much of the burden associated with the peer-review process, while also making the process accessible, transparent and accountable. UnisaRxiv will be available free of charge to researchers affiliated with the University of South Africa, whereas other researchers will be required to pay an article processing fee upon acceptance of their manuscript.

The editorial flow of UnisaRxiv will start with articles’ first being judged on their merit and scientific validity (sound scholarship) by a member of the appropriate discipline. After approval, the preprint will be copyedited before being posted on UnisaRxiv and deposited at Crossref. Authors will then be encouraged to invite reviewers to perform open peer review. Reviewers must be respected academics in their own right, with at least five publications on their ORCID profiles. Once a preprint has been reviewed, authors can upload revised versions of their manuscripts, which will be posted on the server and linked to the initial paper. This process will allow any reader to review changes made to the primary preprint manuscript and see how the paper has evolved into its current. Authors may then submit the article to a journal of their choice.  UnisaRxiv has already accepted its first preprint manuscript, which can be viewed by going to the Collection page.

Unisa Press looks forward to observing how UnisaRxiv develops and to receiving feedback from the authors themselves on their experience of using the preprint server. The Press believes that this cutting-edge preprint server will help to pave the way for the future of peer review, repositioning it towards the open model.

For questions or comments, contact Dr Nthoesane Meiya, Director: Unisa Press ( or Pieter Rall, Managing Editor: Journals (